Please accept Charan Vandan oh revered Swamiji. My obeisance to you oh divine being. I am grateful to you for the bliss and grace I am experiencing. In fact, our entire family is experiencing a sense of peace and tranquillity as your unfathomable kindness has driven away most of our worries to make way for a happy and prosperous life full of life force! The only wish I have now is to earn a lot of money from stock market 😉. Just joking. The only wish I have now is to touch your lotus feet Swamiji.
Today’s topic is a very sentimental one. I know now Shalini ji is very excited now! Last Sunday, I was on my normal morning ritual of bringing Puri-bhaji for tiffin. I have identified a location where the Puri-bhaji has a North Indian test! But to access the shop, I need to cross a chaurasta (chowk or crossroad). While I was crossing the same, I saw a lot of people eagerly waiting for something. One typical Tollywood Villain looking person was just guarding them like a shepherd guarding a herd of cattle.
The language he was hurling was very abusive. He was physically pushing the ladies also along with small kids. I just watched for a few minutes and it hit me very hard. I called a person to enquire about what was going on. The lady in a very old clothing came to me and told that they were waiting to be hired. The villain looking person was the contractor who was facilitating the process. The contractor takes 25% of their income as the hirer pays money directly to the contractor. And if they do not satisfy the contractor, then he may not pay a single paisa at times.
I just asked what did she mean by “satisfy the contractor”? The reply which I got was very shocking to me. The contractor regularly asks the young ladies to come to him to collect the remuneration to his room where he generally remains in an inebriated condition and molests them as per his whims and fancies. They have to submit as they depend on the contractor for getting jobs on daily basis. I asked her why they do not change the contractor. But she replied all the contractors are of same type and exploitive in nature.
I was feeling like helpless as I was not able to help her. Neither I can provide her work on daily basis nor I can fund her in long term manner. The situation was so horrible that I controlled my tears with a lot of effort. Sitting in an AC Room, working on computers with all the facilities extended by govt., I was feeling ashamed. Life of these human beings was in tatters and I was complaining of long delays in procurement of items for my project. Even if I do not work, I will get my fat salary credited to my account at the month end. But these poor fellows have to hunt for work daily, get exploited and what not..
I took a deep sigh and went on to get the tiffin. I purchased one extra for her. But when I returned, she was no where to be seen in the thick crowd. I was a bit dejected as I could not even offer her a tiffin of mere 25 rupees. I hope that she got hired for the day to work. While returning, I was just thinking that every Sunday, I enjoy paid holiday. But just look at the poor people, even Sunday also they have to find work to survive. I could not decide whether I should be feeling sorry that I could not hand over the tiffin to her or should I be feeling happy that she got hired for the day. I was in a dilemma.
Another case which jolted me was the physical condition of a semi-skilled daily wage manpower Nagesh, who works in our section. Our Organization provided them COVID 19 vaccination. They received it for free. But as per cost cutting measures implemented by Govt. of India, our Organization had to slash the daily wage manpower by half. It is not that half of the manpower is just discarded; it is an arrangement that 3 days will be off for everyone. With full attendance also it was difficult for them to manage the financial part and now when it is slashed by half how will they survive?
Nagesh is having fever and body pains after taking vaccine yesterday. I advised him to take rest, but he replied,” Sir, already my salary is halved. If I don’t come to duty, I will lose a day of my already halved salary. What should have I done?” I was speechless as I did not have any answer. The only thing I am trying today is to see that he does not get much work today. In the morning I had some files to be sent to other division. I did not feel like giving him the work. Even if it was a far-off division, I decided to carry the files and some other files from my colleagues to drop them on various locations on the way. This was the best I could do for him. I thought a brisk walk would help in burning some calories of this fat tummy 😉 and at the same time extend some support to Nagesh.
I pray Swamiji to give me strength and compassion to help the needy and keep my mindset like this forever.
Thank you very much everyone for your patience to go through the post. Jai Shri Hari. Swamiji, please zoom meeting mein jaldi darshan do.